It is easy to differentiate between descriptive logos and nondescriptive ones. In the former, the brand name is spelled out on the logo itself like Coca-Cola, Google, and Netflix. This makes it easy for anyone to identify it on a given table of brand names placed side by side. You don’t have to draw something from memory if you can already read it off the page. Although some company logos may appear with the textual name of the brand, they are also identifiable by their symbols alone as Nike, Pepsi, and Microsoft.
One reason why nondescriptive logos may be opted by some companies is because of the negative connotation people might get from the products they are promoting. This is not to say that they are trying to mask something unpleasant about the product. Some, however, do have associations with feelings and emotions that people might view in a bad light. Products and services like rat poison, funeral homes, or contraceptives might go for brighter logos if they haven’t already chosen a completely unrelated trade name.
British Petroleum famously changed its decades-old logo briefly before the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010. From their previous logo that neatly featured their initials in a shield design, they updated it into a “helios” symbol that only retained the brand’s colors. At the time, global calls to stop climate change had come to a head and similar companies had also taken to update their marketing. British Petroleum may have changed their logo to signal the change in the direction they were heading. It might also be because of the growing negative sentiment about fossil fuels.
In 2011, Starbucks also notedly dropped its own brand name and even the word “coffee” in their logo, leaving a cleaner “siren” symbol with their signature green. Starbucks explained that this was guided by their intent to carry more products in the future that had “no coffee in it”. In this case, the update to the logo as indicated by how they wanted to grow their business. Today, from their previous descriptive logo, they now print a nondescript logo on all their cups.
How to plan your business logo
In a study shared by the Harvard Business Review, descriptive logos were also found to have another effect on consumers aside from easier brand recall. Participants were asked to rate authenticity as it was indicated to them when they were shown a brief description of the product along with its logo. The responses for both descriptive and nondescriptive logos were compared. It was concluded that the participants of the study presented a higher willingness to buy a product if it had a descriptive logo.
It’s not so hard to understand how a descriptive logo can better help your product in its infancy. Sometimes, entrepreneurs choose a brand name that is in no way connected to what they are selling. It might be your actual name as you want to cement your presence in the industry, as in the case of McDonald’s when it was still run by Dick and Mac McDonald. It can be an obscure word like Lego or a completely made-up one like Kodak. However you choose to call your product, it will stay abstract until it is represented by the logo you create.
A logo will also signify trust between you and your customer. In the British Petroleum catastrophe mentioned above, people were so angry that a campaign was launched to create a newer logo for the company.
At its very basic definition, a logo is an image of the product as it will exist in the imagination of consumers. Its effectiveness will be measured by its staying power in the minds of both those who have and have not been able to experience your product.
Everybody heads into a business venture hoping to get it off the ground, but there is no telling when a product is going to make it big. One should always be ready by the time that opportunity strikes.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. This is true for the logo that you will choose. This logo that you will print on the packaging of your product, the homepage of your website, and the promotional materials you will use, will collate all the feelings and sentiments a person will have of your company. Eventually, as your business grows, you might think of revising your logo. You might even choose to completely overhaul it. In every step of that journey, Asian Efficiency can help you in making those necessary decisions, so you can select wisely and more effectively.